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For the Italian racing driver, see Vincenzo Sospiri.

Sospiri, Op. 70, is an adagio for string orchestra, harp (or piano), and organ (or harmonium)[1] composed by Edward Elgar just before the beginning of World War I.

Elgar originally intended it for violin and piano, as a companion piece to Salut d'Amour and had in mind the title Soupir d'Amour (French for "Sigh of Love"). While composing it, however, he realised that he was writing something more intense, and so chose an Italian word, sospiri, meaning "sighs".[2]

The work, with a performance time of approximately five minutes, was first performed on 15 August 1914 in Queen's Hall in London, conducted by Sir Henry Wood.

Sospiri was dedicated to Elgar's long-time friend, the violinist W. H. "Billy" Reed.[3]


Adagio 4/4 d minor

After the introduction of two bars, a melancholic melody is played by the first violin (Excerpt 1).

Excerpt 1

\relative c' \new Staff \with { \remove "Time_signature_engraver" } {
 \key d \minor \time 4/4 \tempo "Quasi recit."
  r8\fermata e'4\upbow \p \< (g8) a2~\> << a8 { s16 s16\! } >> a4( c8) d,2~ d8 c\<( d e\!) f--[ e--] d4~ d8 c-- d-- e~( e\>[ c]) c4\!

The other subject is displayed more passionately (Excerpt 2).

Excerpt 2[n 1]

\relative c' \new Staff \with { \remove "Time_signature_engraver" } {
 \key d \minor \time 4/4 \partial 2..
  a'8\mf ( a') a, g'2~ g8^\markup { \bold largamente } f\< e'\f \fermata f, d'2~
  d8 es,\dim ( c'\!) es,, \grace es bes''2~_\markup { \dynamic p \italic dolce } \< bes8\! a,\>( g') f,\! f'2 \p

Excerpt 1 reappears, followed by dying end in the harmony of F major.

Notes & references[edit]


  1. ^ A grace note appeared in third bar should be slashed.



  • Score, Elgar: Sospiri, Breitkopf & Härtel, Leipzig, 1914

External links[edit]